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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Apr 17, 2019

Pig brains kept alive outside body for hours after death

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, neuroscience

Revival of disembodied organs raises slew of ethical and legal questions about the nature of death and consciousness.

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Apr 9, 2019

Toyota offers free access to over 20 years of electric vehicle patents

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, law, sustainability, transportation

Almost 5 years after Elon Musk allowed other manufacturers access to Tesla patents without fear of legal action – effectively making them open source – Toyota has announced that it’s opening up its vehicle electrification patent archive to help speed up the development and adoption of electric vehicles.

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Apr 9, 2019

Space: The Final Illusion

Posted by in categories: law, space

One persistent illusion is that physical objects only interact with other objects they are close to. This is called the principle of locality. We can express this more precisely by the law that the strengths of forces between any two objects falls off quickly—at least by some power of the distance between them. This can be explained by positing that the bodies do not interact directly, but only through the mediation of a field, such as an electromagnetic field, which propagat…


The intuitive idea that objects influence each other because they’re in physical proximity is soon to become another of those beliefs that turn out to be wrong when we look deeper.

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Mar 18, 2019

Physicists reverse time using quantum computer

Posted by in categories: computing, law, quantum physics, space travel

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology teamed up with colleagues from the U.S. and Switzerland and returned the state of a quantum computer a fraction of a second into the past. They also calculated the probability that an electron in empty interstellar space will spontaneously travel back into its recent past. The study is published in Scientific Reports.

“This is one in a series of papers on the possibility of violating the . That law is closely related to the notion of the arrow of time that posits the one-way direction of time from the past to the future,” said the study’s lead author Gordey Lesovik, who heads the Laboratory of the Physics of Quantum Information Technology at MIPT.

“We began by describing a so-called local perpetual motion machine of the second kind. Then, in December, we published a paper that discusses the violation of the second law via a device called a Maxwell’s demon,” Lesovik said. “The most recent paper approaches the same problem from a third angle: We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time.”

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Mar 16, 2019

Trump’s Plan To Destroy NASA Science Laid Bare In FY2020 Budget

Posted by in categories: education, government, law, science

One of the perks of being President of the United States of America is that you get to submit your budget recommendations to the US Congress before any decisions are made. While it’s up to Congress to make the budget and the President to sign it into law, the recommendations for the next fiscal year are where the administration gets to set their agenda and announce to the world the direction it wants to go in.

Last year, the https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/02/12/the-…e-science/” target=”_self” data-ga-track=” InternalLink: https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/02/12/the-…e-science/”>Trump administration proposed cutting a number of Earth Science missions, ending NASA Astrophysics’ flagship mission for the 2020s, WFIRST, and eliminating NASA’s Office of Education. Then-acting administrator Robert Lightfoot https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-acting-administrator…t-proposal” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-acting-administrator…t-proposal”>put out a statement mentioning hard choices and an inability to do everything with a limited budget, but Congress overturned these cuts and restored funding for these programs. This year, the assault is even worse, and has a better chance of succeeding. Here’s why.

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Mar 15, 2019

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

Posted by in categories: information science, law, robotics/AI

It was 100 times faster on a routine task.


In a recent study, LawGeex, a legal tech startup, challenged a group of 20 experienced lawyers to test their skills and knowledge against its AI-powered algorithm.

A legal battle

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Mar 6, 2019

Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information

Posted by in category: law

You’ve probably never heard of many of the data firms registered under a new law, but they’ve heard a lot about you. A list, and tips for opting out.

[Source image: ksenia_bravo/iStock].

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Mar 5, 2019

Cuba has a lung cancer vaccine. Many U.S. patients can’t get it without breaking the law

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law

President Trump’s tightened travel to Cuba makes it harder to go there. Some U.S. cancer patients say they have no other options.

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Mar 3, 2019

A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, law, neuroscience

The phenomenon of ‘microdosing’, that is, regular ingestion of very small quantities of psychedelic substances, has seen a rapid explosion of popularity in recent years. Individuals who microdose report minimal acute effects from these substances yet claim a range of long-term general health and wellbeing benefits. There have been no published empirical studies of microdosing and the current legal and bureaucratic climate makes direct empirical investigation of the effects of psychedelics difficult. In Study One we conducted a systematic, observational investigation of individuals who microdose. We tracked the experiences of 98 microdosing participants, who provided daily ratings of psychological functioning over a six week period. 63 of these additionally completed a battery of psychometric measures tapping mood, attention, wellbeing, mystical experiences, personality, creativity, and sense of agency, at baseline and at completion of the study. Analyses of daily ratings revealed a general increase in reported psychological functioning across all measures on dosing days but limited evidence of residual effects on following days. Analyses of pre and post study measures revealed reductions in reported levels of depression and stress; lower levels of distractibility; increased absorption; and increased neuroticism. To better understand these findings, in Study Two we investigated pre-existing beliefs and expectations about the effects of microdosing in a sample of 263 naïve and experienced microdosers, so as to gauge expectancy bias. All participants believed that microdosing would have large and wide-ranging benefits in contrast to the limited outcomes reported by actual microdosers. Notably, the effects believed most likely to change were unrelated to the observed pattern of reported outcomes. The current results suggest that dose controlled empirical research on the impacts of microdosing on mental health and attentional capabilities are needed.

Citation: Polito V, Stevenson RJ (2019) A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics. PLoS ONE 14: e0211023. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.

Editor: Danilo Arnone, King’s College London, UNITED KINGDOM

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Feb 22, 2019

We need better laws to protect the rights of future frozen cryonicists

Posted by in categories: cryonics, law, life extension

Here’s an important story I wrote on #cryonics for Quartz about a recent tragedy of a young girl and society’s reluctance to give people rights after death. I think something like “Danielle’s Law” could be important moving forward:


Cryogenics is facing legal hurdles for people who want their bodies to be frozen for the future.

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